The Real Cost of Backup Batteries

Data centre or server room batteriesTo select the perfect battery for an application or project, engineers follow an established process and take a balanced approach. A variety of options are considered against the intended goals, technical requirements, continuous maintenance needs, initial cost, and most importantly, the final choice needs to be from a UPS battery supplier.

The established selection process is made up of a variety of factors, such as:

  • Routine maintenance costs,
  • Ease of access and physical positioning,
  • Duty cycle and application outlook,
  • Replacement cost and schedule,
  • Communication and system interface concerns,
  • Environmental factors,
  • Installation and initial costs.

The main goal is to find the right battery for the intended application. If the requirements of the application, expectations and temperature variations are not considered from the start, this may undermine all the other factors.

Assess the lifespan claims of the batteries

Design engineers should evaluate the following to have a clear idea of the costs involved, on top of the initial cost of the battery:

• The cost of shipping and racks used by the battery should be included in the initial price.

• Where variations exist, the complexity of installation.

• Ease of maintenance and applicable requirements.

• The applicable replacement schedules, from five, seven, ten, twelve years or more, for different types of batteries.

• Manufacturer and battery reliability facts.

• Vendor warranty negotiation and comparisons.

Long-, short- and medium-term costs can be calculated after performance needs and different costs for all batteries under consideration have been identified and compiled. The subjective estimates are met by the objective portion of the equation.

Determine the most accurate battery cost assessment

The following should occur on a consistent basis to come up with the most accurate battery cost assessment:

• Reach out to maintenance experts for information on the requirements for any current or known maintenance procedures for battery arrays. The following procedures may be included:

• Variations in the frequency of on-site inspections,

• Any other variations in the maintenance schedule,

• The existing workload and estimates of the future,

• Required personnel numbers and skill-set,

• Benefits and remunerations,

• Prioritisation of battery and site maintenance.

Find out more about the latest maintenance equipment

Include the following in your assessment:

• Strategies to help save time,

• Improved environmental conditions,,

• Requirements relating to monitoring of the site,

• Money, effort and time saving battery monitoring advancements.

Final criteria

Before a final choice is made, the results must pass the final criteria, after all of the above factors have been calculated and reviewed. On the requirement that the power does not go out, where does the option rank? This is the sole question in the final criteria.

Over the years battery monitoring techniques have changed substantially even though batteries still do not come with an in-built system of communicating their condition. The changes are significant to the degree that any maintenance service providers, end-users and manufacturers who have not reviewed BMS (Battery Monitoring Systems) in the recent past should do so immediately. In the utility and telecom industries, beyond the UPS market, reduced costs and BMS technology have crossed the invisible barrier of remote offsite monitoring applications. For swift decision making, useful information can be presented to users as battery arrays can now be monitored in a cost effective manner.

Appreciating the fact that the power supplied by backup batteries to safeguard services, data and hardware (that is far more valuable and important than the cost of the batteries) will help ensure that a meaningful search for the right choice is carried out.

The real battery cost far exceeds cash outlay. The cost of failure when they are needed as well as the value of what they are meant to safeguard is the real cost of the batteries.

When there is a power outage, it’s good to know that the lights won’t go out as well.

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